Athletics Career

Biography
2017 season
2016 season
2015 season
2014 season
2013 season
2012 season
2011 season
2010 season
2009 season
Current training
Next race
Statistics

Biography

Nina's running efforts began at the age of 25 as a means to lose weight and improve fitness. In 1997 she slowly jogged her way through her first marathon and when the man in the rhino suit ran past her she felt it might be pertinent to try more focused and structured training for her next race! Her times steadily improved culminating in a marathon personal best of 3:28:27. At the age of 29 Nina first stepped on to the track and discovered that she was more suited to running both 1 and 2 laps than marathon. She now specialises in both the 400m and 800m and is coached by Greg Richards. At the age of 35 (2007) Nina became eligible to compete as a Master (or Veteran) and since that time has focused her efforts and seasons on securing medals at the World Masters and European Veterans Championships.

2017 Season

The main focus this season was the European Veterans Championships (held in Denmark) where Nina was reigning 400m Champion and unbeaten on this stage. Greg (her husband and coach) had returned to the UK after a 4 year stint working abroad and her winter training had gone exceptionally well allowing her to be in good shape. Whilst she works very hard to incorporate injury prevention work within her weekly schedule she picked up an injury 3 weeks before her Championships which is always a vulnerable time as intensity is peaking. She worked closely with her team (consultant, sports physio, chiropractor and coach) and despite not being able to run 100 metre a week before the date she was due to travel to Denmark their combined efforts enabled her to participate. Mentally this proved to be very challenging and standing on the start line in the final having got through the heat and semi-final Greg gave her a very clear race plan and said if she didn't adhere to it she would lose the race. It wasn't the prettiest of races but Nina did exactly what was asked of her and executed the plan exactly as required and crossed the line first (just!). It was a relief.

Nina and her coach chatted (as they always do) at the end of the season about what went well and what they felt might be better done differently. The positives were that training had gone very well both technically and from a strength and conditioning viewpoint. On the downside they both felt that Nina was in good shape a bit too early on, together with this further work needs to be put in place to manage her hips (tiny labral tears in both) better.

In summary it was a frustrating season in which a lot of lessons were learnt. She was relieved to retain her 400 metre title and some small comfort was that she ended up being ranked number 1 in the UK for W45 200m and ranked number 1 in the world at W45 400 metres

2016 Season

Nina decided to have an easy season this year as the Masters Championships were in Australia in late October which she decided was too far away and too late in the season to participate in. As an older athlete it's tough maintaining form for a lengthy period and she felt her body could do with an easier year from both a mental and physical perspective. It was the final year Greg (coach and husband) would be away and she was feeling his absence. Training still went fairly well and she finished the season having run a solid time of 58.80 for the 400m and being ranked number 1 in the UK for W40 400 metres, so she was not dissatisfied.

2015 Season

The main goal this season was the World Masters Championships in Lyon (France) where Nina would again contest the 200m and 400m. Whist her training went well she felt that she missed the technical input from her coach (and husband) Greg Richards who was still based abroad and that this had a negative impact on her season. In France she ran a season's best time of 26.37 in the 200m to earn a place in the final but her lack of experience in this event showed and she could only manage 4th place. The 400m gold was never going to be an option given the dominant force of Alisha Fortune (Ghana) but Nina felt she was capable of silver and faced her long time rival (and friend), Emanuella Baggiolini (Italy). She earned bronze in the 400m running a season's best time of 58.02 but felt she missed a trick in the execution of her race plan and for the first time in a major championship felt she didn't achieve what she was physically capable of so was disappointed. She did end the season being ranked number 1 in the UK for W40 200m and 400m.

2014 Season

The focus this season was the European Veterans Championships taking place in Izmir (Turkey). Unlike other years where Nina has always contested the 400m and 800m, this season she decided to try a new event and so dropped the 800m in favour of the 200m. Her Winter started later than usual given the problems that had occurred during the latter stages of the previous year and in addition initially her strength work had to be adjusted to accommodate injury recovery. The Achilles problems of the previous year were managed very successfully this season with her new found knowledge and of course continued support from the team of people she works with (physio, chiropractor and consultant). In addition Nina had injections of Ostenil (Hyaluronic Acid) into both arthritic toe joints which had a very positive effect on their mobility. Her preparation went well and she arrived in Izmir feeling as if she was in good shape and ready to run speedily. Nina won the 400m with a season's best time of 57.47 and was delighted as this was the 4th consecutive win over 400m at this Championships. Her aims for the 200m were different, given it was a new event and she felt to still be at the early stages of learning her craft. Nina's hope was to be able to be as competitive as possible, and try to be in the mix with the more experienced sprinters. She ran a new lifetime best of 26.08 seconds which put her at the top of the UK W40 200m rankings and secured a bronze medal which she felt to be an acceptable result for her first competitive season.

2013 Season

The goal this season was the World Masters Championships in Brazil in October. Winter training started well but Nina developed an Achilles injury in March which then developed into a chronic problem. She teamed up with an excellent sports physio and also saw her podiatrist. Nina began with conservative measures but followed this with a high volume injection in July as time was a factor. From August training went well but needed to be pushed on to be ready for October. Unfortunately the subtle biomechanical changes she had made to accommodate her Achilles caused a further injury to her back and hip just before she flew out to Brazil. Nina managed a silver in the 800m final but following the race her back and right hip seized. She flew back early to receive treatment and was obviously unable to contest the 400m. She felt as if she had still run a competitive 800m race but ultimately the combination of her injuries and compacted training plan had put paid to the Gold medal.

2012 Season

Nina moved up an age category this year and the aim of her season was to retain her 400m and 800m European Veterans titles at the Championships in Germany. Despite her Winter training going well and her recovery following a hip operation in 2011 she nonetheless struggled to find her form in both the latter stages of training and racing. She and her coach (Greg Richards) went through her programme and were able to rule out training factors. Having done this she then had a variety of blood tests and subsequently saw a sports nutritionist with whom she had worked previously which led to her make adjustments to her diet. This did the trick and with renewed energy she competed in Germany where she won two gold medals and so retained both her titles. She finished the season by being ranked number 1 in Britain for 200m, 400m and 800m and in addition was ranked number 1 in the World Masters Rankings for 400m (all age group W40).

2011 Season

Nina had a mixed Winter due to hip problems which broke up her training and ultimately put an end to her season. She sought advice from a number of different practioners but with little success. Following an MRI scan she had hip surgery to correct a labral tear in the August to try to resolve the problem but unfortunately she still had the same symptoms following surgery. Following that she found a practitioner who used Graston technique and whilst this took a significant number of treatments it ultimately resolved all her hip issues. It was a very frustrating year.

2010 Season

This was a great season for Nina and at the age of 38 was delighted to record season's bests (SBs) of 56.57 for the 400m and 2.8.53 for the 800m. She also returned from the European Championships in Hungary where she won gold in both 400m and 800m in very competitive races. Overall Nina was pleased with her season as the primary goal had been to retain her European Championship titles. Having said that both Greg and she felt that the times she achieved in her races did not reflect times achieved in training so she was left wanting a little more.

2009 Season

The goal in 2009 was to retain her 400m and 800m World titles at the Championships in Finland. However she had a frustrating Winter followed by an equally difficult Spring as the osteoarthritis in her foot caused biomechanical problems which took some months to diagnose. The consequence was that whilst she continued to row, bike and weight lift she only managed a total of 3 months running in the period leading up to the Championships. Greg and she discussed tactics for the 800m. Based on the fact that her maximum repetition distance had only been 300m in that 12 week period but knowing she had some speed they felt that the only way to win the race would be from a tactical run i.e. a slow first lap and sprint finish. Everything went to plan and she was relieved and delighted to earn her Gold medal place on the podium in her only 800m race of the Summer.
She also came away with a bronze (and season's best time) in the 400m and felt that as race rusty as she was and with an obvious lack of training this was as much as she could have achieved under the circumstances.

Current Training

Nina's training is ticking along though still in Winter work stage.

Next Race

Nina won't be racing until the outdoor season starts - so first race will be around April time.

 

Click here to view her statistics page on The Power of 10
www.thepowerof10.info/athletes/profile.aspx?athleteid=3217

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